Known for his inquisitive mind and design approach, Pritzker Prize-winning Shigeru Ban has always been greatly interested in the expression of the concept in his buildings, rather than the newest materials of techniques being explored by architects all over the world. He incorporates several styles of architecture into his works, and consciously chooses material that helps enhance his expression. Using his Western exposure through education, and encompassing it with Japanese building forms and methods, Ban work can clearly be defined as humanitarian in influence, and ecological in its architecture.
Here is Shigeru Ban’s Terrace House, soon to become the tallest hybrid timber structure in the world; a 230-foot-tall residential building that will be constructed of concrete, wood, and steel.
Named the Terrace House, this innovative new development of 20 exclusive homes in the center of Vancouver’s Coal Harbour pays respect to its adjacent Evergreen Building, which is one of the most renowned works of the late architects Arthur Erickson. Visually, it appears that the terraces of the Evergreen Building continue seamlessly onto the Terrace House, and follow its philosophy on every level through triangular shapes, natural materials, and the use of landscaping.
The concept of the Terrace Building and its innovative design approach is to signify and showcase the ability and commitment of Vancouver towards contemporary, forward-thinking sustainable design and pioneering and cutting-edge material use, construction techniques, and abilities.
Terrace House serves as a fruitful collaboration of international, diverse perspectives, local expertise, and smart conceptual skills to set a precedent in the field of Architecture and design. It displays an intricate and clever use of latticework and the methodical structure of timber and glass construction. Its vibrant nature lies in the sophistication of its context and the beautiful vistas of mountains and distinct urban life, that help establish the Terrace House as an exemplary building that not only serves as a landmark but also a forward-looking expression.
The mono-pitched structure, expected to reach 71 meters at its tip, will feature 19 stories of 20 apartments and elaborately landscaped terraces on the lower half of the building. The 20 units are complemented each with 400 square feet of outdoor space. This planning decision allows each to attain a sense of individuality and enhanced privacy even in a shared complex, making it a marvel in the field of architecture and a rare example built in a time when cities are no longer able to cater to customized living solutions catering to ever-growing populations.
DESIGN AND STYLE
The visuals and details of the building feature a simple and a neutral palette for the 20 luxury apartments, with custom door, cabinet handles, all designed by Shigeru Ban himself. On the lower levels, Ban has designed large sliding doors that open from the living rooms and bedrooms to the outside, encompassing the views across the city and the mountains. With lighting fitted on the rim of the balconies and plantation draped on top, the view outside would be fresh and surreal for the inhabitants of the apartments. Ensuring a harmonious interior, that complements the exterior of the complex, the flooring is also designed to match the white oak used inside, with polished chrome and stainless steel finishes in the kitchen, marble-topped islands, with millwork in the bedrooms, as well as beautiful walk-in wardrobes and all-white bathrooms inspired by therapeutic spas.
The gabled structure at the top and the residences it withholds will be designed slightly differently, where the wooden exposure is meant to be exposed, to appreciate the locally sourced Douglas fir timber from the forests of British Columbia. The timber also incorporated in the ceilings helps add warmth to space as well. Winter gardens, within enclosed terraces, will be contained in glass-sliding panels, which is another one of the pioneering ideas used in the Terrace House. Shigeru Ban ensures that each of the 20 units is individual pieces of art unlike any other on the face of the planet.
MATERIALS & CONSTRUCTION
To achieve a creative, one-of-a-kind collaboration setting new standards in design and construction, the original landscape architect of the Evergreen Building itself, Cornelia Oberlander, and Hermann Blumer, an internationally renowned wood structural engineer, an expert on timber constructions and structures were employed for the project. The construction techniques use timber frames, clad in glass with a concrete and steel core that runs through the axis of the building.
The Terrace House is thus a marvel in itself, showcasing the innovative and sustainable thinking of the great architect, Shigeru Ban, which has been thoughtfully executed, planned and drawn according to his iconic design sensibilities, as well as smart technology that ensures to protect the state-of-the-art structure from damage from any external or internal influences.
A truly unparalleled creation, Shigeru Ban and his team have therefore managed to grab the attention of the world with this building that is undergoing construction and is unique in the field of architecture, design, and especially, residential living solutions.